Cutting the Ties

If you saw the previous post, you know I was once again basically attacked and cast off by my 20 year old daughter because I got a notice about her healthcare and inquired how she was doing.  I responded in the way I typically respond to these types of rude notes — with sort of a quiet measured loving response.
And I sat for two days knowing it was not right.  It is never right for a parent to give and to give and to be completely insulted and belittled by their children.  I would never allow my kids to treat their mom in this way (and quite literally never did — when I was married there were consequences and discipline when they treated their mIF I cut you offom disrespectfully).  For me to sit back and let them continue to treat me with disrespect while I pay for their insurance is both silly and I think causes me to be the butt of further ridicule and anger.  I’m their patsy.  They can get away with treating me however they want and I’ll keep feeding the engine that gets them healthcare, alimony and (in the past at least) child support.  The alimony I have no control over — though I have filed for removal of alimony because the ex is living with her boyfriend — but the healthcare — now that is.  I looked at  this issue during these two days and discovered that, you know what?  It is now under my control.  The kids are graduated from High School and over 18.  The divorce decree states that I must cover them with healthcare until then.  So the last two years for my daughter and the future for my son are all purely at my whim.

In my research, I discovered that it cost me $783 per month to furnish healthcare for the kids.  Add to this the fact that the ex testified in court last month that she “pays for their healthcare,” and the fact that I don’t have to pay for their healthcare legally at all and their attitude and treatment of me over the last three years and I knew what had
to happen.

I talked it over with my Dad and brother and girlfriend and other friends first.  Didn’t make the decision rashly, and sent a letter to my daughter first explaining that I didn’t want to do this, but that she had made it very clear that she didn’t want any ties to me, so I was finally saying…. heavy sigh….OK.  It was written with Love in it, but also with clear $$ as to how much I’ve paid in Child support and alimony — something  I don’t think the kids were ever told.  And with a heavy emphasis on following their wishes.

The key point my father made was that he would have probably done this a long time ago.  He said, “Taking away money or support has an interesting way of changing the dynamic.”

I got a pretty quick response from the daughter.

“Ok that’s fine. It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t cancel. And please Don’t bring xxxx into this tho. It has nothing to do with him. “

That was it.  And with that the battle of 3 years ends in a whimper. The saying goes that hate isn’t the opposite of love, apathy is.  That’s what I’m getting now.

I sent a similar letter out to her brother the next day and have had no response.  Truth was, he had been consistently ruder and more demanding than his sister.  I’d at least had some actual conversations with her in the past two years.

Haven’t slept very well over the last week.  Keep waking up at 2-3 am and then finally getting back to bed at 5-6 am.  Feeling it in my back, neck, daily headaches and with a mysterious cough.  My girlfriend said she thinks its because of the finality of all of it.  There’s no connection with them from my side at all.  Every hope of reconciliation is basically in their hands.

Am I feeling the physical affects of that despair?  Maybe.  But in a sense, I also feel like I finally stood up to the bullying of the ex for good.  I will not be walked on any longer.  I will be alone if I have to be, but I will not be anyone’s patsy, and I will not let anyone — especially my kids — treat me with utter contempt and disrespect.  I do not need anyone like that in my life.  Ever. Never again.

That sounds empowering.  And it is.  I guess.  It’s also reality.  And it’s life. And I’m basically a father without kids.  By their choice.  And that.  Is hard.

 

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